Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What A Pain in My Foot


If you are anything like me at all, that first word made you shudder.  I can't stand that word.  Ugh.  Typing it was too much for me.  What's even worse than typing it? Yup. 

Having one.  

Look, I fully expected that when I turned 89 my foot would look crooked all over like a question mark and I would resort to wearing Birkenstocks and long flowing purple dresses and drinking herbal tea.  At 89, I wouldn't care about high heels, pedicures, and fun toe polish.  At 89, I would use words like bunion. 

I am not 89.  

What started as a slight twinge of discomfort in my right foot had turned into a "Wow, I must have mistakenly hammered a nail into my right foot last night while I was sleeping" kind of pain.  I am fairly active, despite my healthy (read:fluffy) size and I play tag with the kids, I work out more than once a year, and this summer I even HIKED.  I also have a high pain tolerance.  So, I knew this had to be sort of serious.  However, I still didn't go to the doctor.  Then, I went to the lake and had a VERY GOOD TIME and somehow I forgot how to properly use stairs and I twisted my ankle.  I went, thinking he would wrap it, give me some anti-inflammatories, and send me packin'.  Do you know what he said to me?

How long have you had this bunion? What? Didn't he know how young I am, my chart is right there!

So, now I have a foot doctor.  Again, I went in with the calm and cool collectedness of a young person in her 30's.  I assured all of the assistants that I probably didn't need to be there.  When the doctor came in, I explained to her that we were probably ALL just overreacting.  It was just a little swelling.  I'm sure it will go away.  I'm not even 40.  She did x-rays. 

Not *just* a bunion... a MODERATE bunion.  WILL require surgery eventually. 

Like, when I'm 89? 

Nope, proably before that.  In fact, I can't even do anything now except try to alleviate and not make it get worse faster.  She started using words like orthapedic inserts and nighttime "Bunion Booty" and that is when I checked out.  It was too much for me. 

And then it hit me.  I didn't have this 2 years ago.  It was teaching. TEACHING did this to me.  When I got home, I took a good look in the mirror.  I have gray hair now, seriously, like a whole stripe, not just one random one.  My closet is full of non-flattering clothes that cover every millimeter of cleavage.  I stopped wearing shirts that were fancy because they all have Sharpie marks or highlighter or vomit or Lysol wipe bleach marks on them within an hour.  And all those heels, those beautiful heels with strappy backs and pointy toes just sit there in dust.  Now, I opt for comfortable shoes with a sensible wedge.  That's when I saw it.  My one summer purchase.  A flowy purple dress.  I looked down and there it was, staring back up at me. 

My bunion. 

Pass the tea and strap on the Birkenstocks.  I'm here.  And, you know what?  It's O.K.  I may dress like and have the feet of an 89 year old but I get to play with kids every day and it keeps me young at heart.  You can keep your sexy skirts and heels, I'm going outside to play Octopus Ball at recess.  Keep your bathroom breaks whenever you want, I taught a kid a new word today.  And what is more exciting than laying on the floor and reading with a kid who discovered a book they love?  Nothing. 

I love it and I am here to stay.  I ordered the insert and I got a prescription for sneakers.  Take that bunion.  You didn't deFEET me this time! Now, I just need to run and get some hair dye. 


  1. I wasn't sure what to expect with such a forthright title... tongue in cheek perhaps?

    Not so much...

    It's so very true though what you are saying about how teaching changes you.... every part of you... from your physical appearance... to your beliefs... right down to your epistemology of learning. It is a beautiful thing in many respects.... a cocoon to butterfly analogy.

    Take care of yourself... enjoy these moments with kids. They are what make going to school the best part of every day:)

  2. I'm dying! I have always been all about surface area with regard to the shoes I wore to work while in a brick and mortar setting. I'd run all around the 300+ acres with my Science kiddos and wore jeans often because of that. No heels for this girl.

    Best wishes with your foot!!